It’s not her birthday. I’m just melancholy because the baby pic came up in my FB memories and I can’t believe how fast my granddaughter is growing up. On the other hand, I’m starting to see the woman she will become. She’s a very serious little girl. Feels sometimes like I’m talking to an old woman. In moments when I’m silly, sometimes she will smirk and shake her head lovingly. As if to say, “Oh, Nana.. you’re too much.”
She was here for a week for Fall break recently. I reminded her of how when she used to come, all she wanted to do was have a ‘dance party’. I would buy her a new princess dress and she’d sing, dance, twirl.. for hours and hours.
One time she asked me to do it with her. I told her I was busy, but what I really did was sneak upstairs and put on one of my daughter’s glamorous prom dresses. Black and gold, all sparkles like Tiana loved back then. I came down the stairs and she froze, her eyes widened..
Breathlessly, she said, “Ohhh.. Nana.. you so look beautiful..”
In reality, the dress was beautiful but I was looking rough that night. It didn’t matter to Tiana Kay. All she saw was that her Nana made an effort to make her happy. We danced and sang, and it was her best ‘dance party’ she’d ever had at our house.
I still have that dress, but almost five years later, I can’t fit in it now. Menopause has kicked me in the hind end and added twenty pounds to it, too.
This time around when Tiana came, we had an adult dress up party. We took Tiana with us to pick out Maui Girl’s wedding dress. The 2nd pic of Tiana is from that day. She was up early and had done her own hair and was brimming with quiet excitement. At the shop, she sat on the fancy couch and used her little sign with the utmost seriousness. Showing “not for me” when she didn’t like a dress, and “that’s the one” when she did.
She drank a virgin mimosa and sipped at it like a little lady. She was quiet, polite, and so mature that it wasn’t like I was there with a child. It was like I had a tiny best friend sitting next to me, oohing and aching each time Amanda came out looking like a bride.
We went to lunch after that, and finally home, all of us exhausted but so happy from such a wonderful day.
Before I know it, Tiana will be a teenager and staying with Nana will no longer be at the top of her ‘favorite things to do’ list. I’ll be so sad. But I will also hope that all of the things I’ve strived to teach her when she was younger, about being a good person who does good in the world, will stick and that she will be the best part of me that I leave behind when I go.
For isn’t that what it’s all about? Building memories and leaving legacies. Not ones of monetary value, but one of doing your best to make some sort of positive impact in the world and then passing it on to the next generations.
Please show me your grandchildren in the comments and tell me something about them. And I’ll see if I can find a photo from our dance party. As long as you promise not to laugh at the old, haggard woman pretending to be a princess, as she danced with a real one.